March Madness is upon us. I typically don’t follow the tournament unless my alma mater, Kansas State, is doing well.
Don’t get me wrong, watching basketball is fun and I enjoy the bonding force that rooting for (or rooting against) a team (cough cough KU) brings forth.
This year, I’m a bit more invested. My favorite team, Kansas State, has made it into the Sweet Sixteen! To give you an idea, the bracket I filled out for fun has K-State going all the way and winning the championship. It probably won’t happen, but a girl can dream, right?
Regardless of your team loyalty, one of the reasons we watch March Madness is for the underdog and following the upsets (assuming, of course, that your team doesn’t get upset. Sorry, Virginia :/, but it was just too fun for people to see history be made by a #16 seed upsetting you).
Honestly, one of the most interesting things about this season, and most playoff-esque sports seasons, is how quickly things can change. For some people, this isn’t “interesting” at all–my husband, Cully, would willingly admit how much he stresses when a team he cheers for is playing. His ideal scenario is for two teams he doesn’t care about to be playing, so he can watch without getting fully invested in the game!
As I was watching K-State play UMBC last night, it was very possible for K-State to lose. Based solely on ranking, Kansas State should’ve won, but there was a time when the other team was ahead. It seemed like my team might fall short. I was reminded that this is a perfect contrast to the never-changing character of God.
On campus, we have been doing a Bible study over Genesis this semester. Time and time again, God is faithful, and people are disobedient and make stupid choices…and God is STILL faithful.
My application of the Bible study has been some variation of the following as the weeks have gone on:
Week 1: Wow, I’m being self-dependent.
Week 2: Yep, there it is again.
Week 3: Sheesh, Abraham is really not trusting God. Sounds familiar…
Week 6: Huh, I didn’t know I could be self-dependent in THAT way.
Week 7: Oops.
You get the picture. Reading Genesis has been a constant reminder of my continual need to trust God and that He is continually faithful when I am self-focused. In 2 Timothy 2:13, this is addressed by Paul:
“If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.”
Well, that’s pretty straightforward. God’s faithfulness doesn’t hinge upon my abilities or in how faithful I am to Him. That is VERY good news for me.
I am very human. I am limited, inconsistent, and selfish. But God is not!
One of my favorite verses on this is in Numbers 23:
“God is not human, that he should lie,
not a human being, that he should change his mind.
Does he speak and then not act?
Does he promise and not fulfill?” (Numbers 23:19)
I am constantly being reminded of my faultiness and how He is not faulty. As the verse above points out, God doesn’t lie or change His mind. Even if you are the most moral person in the world, you STILL lie and change your mind! We all do. And sometimes, we intend to do something and don’t follow through for whatever reason. If I focus on myself in this way, it becomes discouraging. If I focus on who God is instead, I experience freedom.
God follows through literally 100% of the time. That’s pretty difficult for me to grasp and trust. I tend to place upon God human characteristics or what I have personally experienced. Instead, we are reminded that these don’t apply to God!
So, back to basketball.
It can be all too easy to get invested in how your team is doing and put trust in their abilities. We have zero control over their performance or if our bracket wins us bragging rights. In the midst of this season of fanfare, I am reminded of the fact that God is consistent, and that is something I can continually rely on—even if my Wildcats lose next round.